Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Muriwai: White-Fronted Terns

White-Fronted Terns (Sterna Striata)

White-Fronted Terns (Sterna Striata)

A Skywatch Friday photo. More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

The Gannet colony at Muriwai is also nesting and breeding site of white-fronted terns (sterna striata). Some of the time they are congregating on ledges on Motutara Island, some of the time underneath and beside the southern point opposite. And in between they play chasies, either in large swarms as seen a couple of weeks ago, or breaking into smaller groups of 2-4 or more, occasionally coming close enough to the viewing platform to tempt me to shoot. Always noisy, always fun to watch, as they fly on unpredictable paths, following their whims.

Offers of fish play an important part in the interaction between terns, but the exact nature of the play is a bit of a mystery to me. I have observed birds that carried the fish in their beak over a long period of time before it was offered, and sometimes the fish was passed back after some time – who knows what they are thinking…


  1. Pearl Maple

    great photo of the birds in flight, they are not easy to catch, happy sky watch friday

  2. Carpe Diem Sweden

    Just awesome!!!!

  3. Trish

    I, also, live by the water and enjoy watching the terns fishing. nice capture!

  4. FotoAnna

    Stunning those White-Fronted Terns !!
    Great picture…
    Happy SWF and greetings from Holland,

  5. Sylvia Kirkwood

    What an incredible capture, Paul! Interesting information about their interaction! All that and lovely skies as well! Have a wonderful weekend!


  6. Bellybytes

    How amazing to catch such a sight!

  7. Tabib

    Great BIF, with added bonus of food at beak.

  8. Rajesh

    Fabulous capture.

  9. Cecilia Artista

    Fantastic capture!

  10. joan

    What elegant birds in flight.

  11. boom nisanart

    Stunning Captured, Love the shape of the gannets

  12. Gemma@Greyscale

    A glorious sight! Delightful wings in a beautiful sky!

  13. eden

    Great capture. Love it.

  14. NatureFootstep Birds

    You really gat a great shot here. I have never seen that tern before. I don´t think it comes to sweden. You photographed the birds, in my SWF entry I have photographed the birders. 🙂

  15. CB

    nice shot; terns are magnificent creatures; they migrate to our waters every year; see some of my tern snaps here:

  16. La Dame de Nage

    Wouah les sternes !

    Terns Wow!

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